We can count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4
Life as a Believer
Living your life as a believer in Christ is never easy. We are supposed to resemble a Christ-like nature which consists of walking in the fruits of the spirit. However, living a life of self-control, long-suffering, gentleness, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity and faithfulness (Gal 5:22) takes discipline and your character can be challenged in a selfish, chaotic world.
Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we can never accomplish and fulfill these characteristics and traits of Christ without the guidance and strength of Christ working within us.
As a believer, you may be constantly scrutinized or criticized by the world because you claim to live a so-called “Perfect” life. They may also expect you to be judgmental and point out the faults of others. Far too many believers have a “hypocritical nature.”
Unfortunately, some believers receive a bad rap because of misrepresentation due to other believers who are not walking as a true representative of Christ but walking in a religious spirit rooted in legalism.
With so many denominations and backgrounds, it’s a melting pot or hodgepodge of multiple belief systems which makes it even more confusing for a non-believer to justify why they should even change their life or go to church.
Little do non-believers understand, there is no such thing as a “Perfect Christian.” That’s the reason why Christ paid the penalty of sin on the cross. We are redeemed by faith through Christ. We are called to love each other despite our character flaws, mindsets, beliefs or lifestyles.
You may not feel worthy or you may feel like an outcast when surrounded by a congregation of believers. However, the Lord desires and chooses you. Every one of us is broken or flawed in some way. No one is perfect. Jesus loves you!
People may watch and wait for you to fail, fall or mess up. There is no doubt a lot of pressure to live as a believer in the flesh. In fact, there is no way possible to achieve a life as a believer while living in the flesh. It’s a spiritual journey.
As a believer, once you realize that you’re delivered from people and their opinions, you will no longer appease others but have a stronger desire to please the Lord. You will no longer be controlled or manipulated by peers, teams, groups or audiences because you don’t have an appetite to blend in or be accepted by your associates, friends or even family members.
Come as You Are
Jesus welcomes the broken-hearted, the sick, the addicted, the poor, and the widowed. Jesus does not discriminate. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.
There is no such thing as guilt or shame. Once you repent of your wrong thoughts, intentions, attitudes, wrong actions and behaviors, it is erased for eternity. The Lord remembers our sin no more. (Heb 8:12) However, that is not an excuse for us to live careless, reckless and carefree lives. When we mess up, we must continuously begin again and make an honest effort to change for the better.
Through the Fire
The world will pull you in many directions and you will fall into many problems or difficult circumstances. Just when you feel doubt, fear, insecurity, or discouragement creeping in, the Lord will step in and give you comfort, peace, strength, and reassurance whispering, “I got you!”
You can only achieve this experience and deeper revelation while resting in the secret place of the most high (Psalm 91:1) which starts by building a foundation on His word, persistent prayer, and continual praise and worship.
In the quiet hours, the Lord will reveal himself to you in unspeakable ways. Although you will be thrown into many trials, tribulations, and test, each test is preparing and positioning you for greatness. It strengthens and grows your faith in Him. He may not quickly rescue you from the fire but He is sure to walk with you through the flames just like he did with Shadrach, Meshasch, and Abednego. (Dan 3)
Spiritual warfare is an opportunity for God to demonstrate his power. The Lord will make the enemy your footstool. (Mark 12:36) Put on the full armor of God and He will fight every battle. (Eph 6:10-34)
For every test is perfectly designed by the master’s hands to shape and mold you into what He wants you to be. There is a specific purpose and assignment He created for you to complete.
No Matter What it Looks like You’re Not Coming Out Smelling Like Smoke
You may feel unqualified. You may feel like Moses who felt like he did not have the skills or abilities to defeat Pharaoh and lead the Israelites through the Red Sea. However, the Lord chose him for a specific purpose and for a specific season. Your insecurities, flaws, quirks, lack of education or experience is not a prerequisite for God’s work.
The Lord chose the most unqualified people to represent his Kingdom to preach the gospel, cast out demons or defeat giants. The one thing that has been the thorn in your side may just happen to be the one thing God uses in your life to promote you.
The Lord calls the weak to confound the wise. (I Corth 1:27) The same problems, situations, and circumstances that you’ve dealt with or may be dealing with is part of your test, part of your story and the bigger part of who you’ll become.
Despite what you go through, with Jesus, you will come through the fire untouched. You will come through in victory!
Through patience and faith, you will inherit the promises of God. It takes strength, endurance, and courage to walk with faith, hope, and trust. In the meantime, count it all joy!
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember nomore.
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
I Corth 1:27
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confoundthewise; and God hath chosen theweak things of the world toconfoundthe things which are mighty;
I Chron 16:24
24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
In the last days, there will be more confusion, chaos, deception, distraction, and corruption in the world because Satan knows his time is up.
The only thing left to be able to stand on will be the Bible to light our path. In fact, it should not be the last resort but the first thing we run towards for safety, protection, and security.
The Bible is our daily manual for life. It is the living word that sustains us. We simply cannot navigate through life without a spiritual compass. We need guidance and reassurance that there is one higher and greater that is leading, providing, and protecting us. Sure, many will believe that they are the product of their own success or failure. However, it’s the Lord’s will for your life that ultimately guides your path.
Just like water can be transformed into ice, steam, or liquid so can the one and only living God whose spiritual nature consists of the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit (Ghost).
It is within the divine plan of God that lights our path, however, He gives us the option to choose whether to believe and follow Him. Every man or woman must pick up their cross daily and follow him freely. (Mark 10:21) No man can come to the Father but through Jesus Christ. (John 3:5)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth Him shall not perish have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
You cannot mix half-truth with the whole truth. You simply cannot water down the truth.
As the birth pangs continue to increase and grow and the sorrow, pain, heartache, and destruction magnifies, your soul will continue to cry out for truth, protection, hope, and security.
You may already be searching for truth and clinging to hope. The only true hope comes from the encouragement of the Word of God who is the Creator of Heaven and earth, the only true God who created and designed you in the womb. He knows everything you’ve been through and exactly what you’re going through right at this present moment in time.
God loves you and desires for you to have a relationship with Him. You may even have a relationship with Him but He desires a deeper intimacy with you. God is a jealous God. He requires your full attention. He does not want to compete with Facebook, Instagram, text messages, corporate meetings, or the latest sports event.
If you put God first in your life and make Him priority daily, He will not disappoint. The raw truth is in the scriptures. It is healing for the spirit. Start by picking up the Bible and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand the words on the page.
The Bible is life to the bones so it cannot be read like a novel or a textbook but by meditating on small chunks of scriptures at a time. It’s like eating a really delicious meal slowly so you can enjoy each bite and savor the flavor and by allowing it time to digest.
Life is a process as well as growing with Christ. The Spirit of God will guide and teach you along the way but you must remain open to His calling. He has a divine plan for your life. You also can’t escape a life without struggle, pain, discomfort, rejection, and opposition. Jesus’s had the same types of challenges also.
In fact, those were the same exact issues Jesus faced in life and on the cross where he sacrificed His life for our sins. He paid the penalty for our sins. We no longer carry the same burden of sin on our backs. This is the good news of Christ. He arose from the grave and Jesus is alive!
As you draw closer to the Lord, your Spirit will also come alive. Your old man (old nature) will pass away and you will become a new creature in Christ. You will begin to desire what pleases the Lord. (2 Corinth 5:17)
Temptation will always lurk at your doorstep but the Lord can and will give you the strength to supersede the devil’s request. It’s a matter of will.
With the Lord’s power, you can fight and win! So, be not entangled with false doctrines or false prophets and mixed truths which equal untruths and no truth.
The one thing you hunger and thirst for is the God of the Most High. You may satisfy yourself by striving for status, fame, material objects, success, and money, however, all those things are temporary and fickle. They’re not stable nor secure.
You will continue to search and strive for something that quenches but never fully satisfies. As soon as you gain, you desire more and more leading to an unfulfilled life.
Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive. John 7:37-39
When you fail, you grow deeper into despair, anxiety, and frustration. It’s a cycle of emptiness. It’s a process where you grow weary, tired, and discouraged and it eventually leads to depression and hopelessness.
There is another way to this thing called life. Will you continue to be parched and dry or will you begin to drink from the well of everlasting life?
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures
17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
2 Tim 1:9
Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began
Let God be true, but every man a liar.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The conception and birth of Jesus is a miraculous event that provided the gift of salvation for all people.
From the time of Christ’s birth, Jesus was sought after to be destroyed by authorities and rulers of nations. King Herod, the ruler of Jerusalem commanded the wise men to find Jesus and tell him where he was born so he could come and worship him. However, King Herod was full of deceit.
The wise men were guided by a star in the east. After the wise men arrived in Bethlehem, where they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they were told by an angel in a dream not to go back to Herod. Perhaps the wise men were called wise because they heard and obeyed the divine voice of God through a dream. The wise men never returned to Bethlehem but went in a different direction so authorities would not follow them.
Once King Herod found out about Jesus’ birth by the city officials, the king ordered to slaughter all male children under the age of two years. Mary and Joseph had to flee Bethlehem. It must have been a horrific sight to experience and witness the slaughter of innocent children.
Jesus’ birth was full of uncertainty from where to stay prior to his birth to where to go after his birth. Through the chaos and discord, Mary and Joseph were divinely protected and led to the city called Nazareth. This is where Jesus resided until his ministry began. Throughout his ministry, there were many interruptions of persecution, rejection, rivalry, opposition, and strife.
In a dark world, then and now, Jesus is the everlasting light. Jesus is known as, Jehovah Shalom, the Lord of peace. In a world of lost hope and despair, Jesus provides all that we need as we walk in obedience to his word. The Son of God was given as a free gift to deliver us from a life of sin and death.
One-touch from God transforms a life. From sickness to healing, chaos to peace, fear to faith, failure to victory, weakness to strength, unbelief to trust and many other opposing afflictions changes course or direction through faith and prayer.
His love is unconditional, despite our faults and failures. Through our trials and tribulations, the Lord is working to manifest His nature within us. We are made in his image and we’re a reflection of his light. Where there is light, no darkness can reside. We are many members and one body. I Corinth 12:12-26
Let us hold onto hope, joy, peace, and strength. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. Act 17:28 Emmanuel, God is with us. Matt 1:23
Beginning with his birth and infinite, life never-ending Resurrection: It’s an eternal lovethat is the greatest giftof them all.
The Lord gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16